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Just goes to show that economic management is still the number one concern with most people. Mainly because if the economy breaks down everything else breaks down with it.

As a matter of fact "Europe" is linked to immigration, which 89% say is important; through trade control and regulation it is linked to economic issues, which 92% think important; it already controls VAT and there are plans for control of other taxation, something that 87% think is important. So where do we go from here? Continue ignoring these little problems?

Europe is "domestic". With the Constitution Health and Education and transport will be EU competencies.....remember the article in the FT by Nicholas Timmins showing how the EU Tendering Regulations now affect NHS contracts

I agree with Helen. To talk about 'Europe' as though it is just one more issue is dozy.

30 August 2007 5:36 PM
Bad news for Cameron - but do we believe it?

We're expecting a Telegraph/YouGov poll tonight which will give us an idea of how David Cameron's "fightback" is going. Brace yourself, it's bad news. Early reports suggest Labour's lead has widened relative to ICM in the Guardian, and the Tory leader's personal rating has dropped. Cue more speculation about an early election. But hang on! Tories say privately their internal Populus poll paints a completely different picture - the parties are level pegging and Mr Cameron's approval rating is climbing. Who to believe?

Benedict Brogan

Spot on Helen.

Our dependence on Europe means we are no longer at liberty to deal with the other problems / challenges as we wish.

Britain's problems arise from Europe and immigration according to many people on this site.

"Tories obsessed with Europe ?"
You should be. You got us into this mess in the first place!

Europe is much more important an issue than this simplistic question would indicate.

Right now the issue is less the details OF Europe than Brown's refusal to honour his promise to ho;ld a referendum on the subject. The polls of the electorate - not just of CH participants - show not only 80+% wanting a referendum b ut a generalised feeling that what the public want is not a total divorce from Europe but from the EU with a new relationship being formed. Cameron made this point last night.

The CH questionnaire did not spell out the Europe - EU difference and the subject was thus undervalued.

The two Davids were impressive in their reaction to gun crime and social breakdown at the weekend, and there can be no doubt that this will be a primary issue at the next General Eleciton. Labour, though, has nowhere to run when it is confronted on its record on crime.

Mountjoy - The two Davids were impressive in their reaction to gun crime and social breakdown at the weekend

Aren't you on the wrong thread 'Felicity'? They're talking about Europe.

Better go back to sleep.

On the subject of Europe what worries me most is its never ending enlargement. Twelve nations should have been the limit. Where will it all end? The bigger the EU gets the more we become dimished within it and the more we are obliged to allow foreign workers into our country while 5.4 million of our own people are without work. We must, as a nation, see to it that our own people have first option on any jobs available.

Helen & Christina are spot on the money. Europe IS VERY important because it impinges - no, overides - most other aspects of Government activity such as imigration, crime, economic activity etc.
And if David Cameron ever refers to "banging on about Europe" again he will get the length of my tongue. By that belittling remark he is in effect saying I should not be concerned that MY country is gradually being given away to unelected eurocrats. I should not be concerned that 80% of the laws that I and my fellow countrymen (sorry, country-persons) have to live by are made by the same eurocrats. I should not be concerned that MY country is being over-run with foreign nationals when MY country is full to overflowing. I should not be concerned that my taxes to the tune of £79 million per week are being poured into the EU budget and much of it has not been accounted for in terms of audit approval for 14 years.

The EU's end game is "ever closer union." It will not change whoever rattles its cage. Thatcher, Major, Blair all tried when first elected. They were all outsmarted. They will not change for Mr Cameron - but he admitted on News Night that Britain should remain "in Europe" anyway!

I want an independent Britain. I want MY country to make its own decisions to suit itself concerning its future. The sooner our overpaid and under performing polititians of all colours realise that the better MY country will be!

Gordon Brown MUST be honest, be a real and honourable man and give us a referendum, not just on this amending treaty but on our whole relationship with the EU.

Mountjoy - The two Davids were impressive in their reaction to gun crime and social breakdown at the weekend. Aren't you on the wrong thread 'Felicity'? They're talking about Europe. Better go back to sleep.

Traditional Tory, I'm certainly not on the wrong thread and I'm wide-awake! This thread is about what issues party members consider important, i.e. "party members understand that crime, in particular, and immigration are much more important as electoral issues than tax and Europe." Hence my comment that gun crime and social breakdown are major election issues ... that is just as important as EU affairs.

Felicity? That puzzled me. I googled Felicity Mountjoy and saw a contributor of that name, but I can assure you that that is not me -- but a different person. Mountjoy is my screen name, and is the name of a ship I am rather fond of. Feel free to visit my blog :-)

As someone who has quit the Party to join UKIP after 20 years' membership, serving as a local councillor and chairman in a very safe seat, I can however appreciate this poll. What I would point out, though, is that under Dave, the policies of attacking big business and ruling out tax cuts / reform has gone down very badly in the City where I work. If economic management is to be the Conservative trump card, there's a hell of a lot of spade work still to be done by the millionare trustafarians Dave and George.

It's perhaps a pity, in my opinion, that the Conservative party is not more 'obsessed' with the EU and, crucially, proposing that Britain should leave it.

Home Information Packs (HIPS), Post Office closures, how rubbish is recycled and how it is collected from you home, healthcare provision and spending etc. All those sorts of important issues that people care about, and the media like to tell us that people care about. All also largely influenced or governed by the European Union.

Christopher Booker wrote an excellent column in the Daily Mail today highlighting these very points.

The European Union is the issue which governs all other issues - and I suspect if more people realised just how crucial the directives the Government are forced to implement from Brussels are, then it would figure far more highly in terms of polling.

But then, the wool has been carefully pulled over most people's eyes so far, hasn't it?

Dear Traditional Tory,

I understand your reaction now! I have just found the following posts !

It is important that this site is closed down by Conservative Headquarters. Any advice that the Tory grassroots have for the leadership should be passed to Francis Maude in private. Airing our laundry in public on a blogsite is the modern day equivalent of Michael Foot’s early 1980s Labour party.

Posted by: Felicity Mountjoy | May 27, 2007 at 12:10

'Felicity' sums up the mindset so perfectly it's a shame she's only a (UKIP?) troll.

Posted by: Traditional Tory | May 27, 2007 at 12:33

As I assured you, it is not me and I am appalled by what she has said since I am a raving fan of Conservative Home and couldn't live without it.

Yours sincerely,


(Male ; not a Troll;
see http://thewiltedrose.wordpress.com
for evidence that I am not 'Felicity')

The question asked what would be the deciding issue at a general election. The poll cannot therefore be used to answer what do Tory activists, let alone what do I think is the most important issue. I answered health but if you ask me which I think is the most important the answer is Europe, stupid - for all the reasons given above.

The crunch question with Europe is going to be over the Euro if we ever get a government that isn't chicken about giving us a referendum on the subject. We all know what the result would be already. Gordon Brown won't call a refrendum on the Euro so I think a future Conservative government should, just so the country can reject it emphatically and put the issue to sleep forever.

"Europe" is by far my most important issue, but then I don't pretend to have any respect for the Witney Windbag and his winsome followers. Up the 'KIP.


(Male ; not a Troll;
see http://thewiltedrose.wordpress.com
for evidence that I am not 'Felicity')

How felicitous that you are not felicity !

I am as Euro sceptic as the next man but am quite glad that this poll gave the result it did. In the world I inhabit which is also in the City most people I meet are not anywhere near as Europhobic as many Conservative activists.
In order to win we must concentrate on those subjects which are important to the electorate,not just on those subects which are important to us and hope the electorate will follow. We've tried that,it doesn't work.
If and when we win an election we can then start to campaign to change our relationship with the EU if it is deemed in the interest of the Britain (which I think it will be).

Thanks TomTom!

This is a very important thread to understand properly. Firstly its vital we appreciate the views of the wider voters which may be similar to the ConHome sample but will vary significantly on some points. Secondly its vital we understand the difference between what seems important and what actually influences votes.

I've detected in surveys that there are important sizeable factions of floating voters who are more interested in certain issues than the average Conservative supporter is (I'm not thinking of the environment). They are sometimes ignored but need to be courted. Take another issue, pensions, this too can be very high in importance in some areas and does influence votes. Also some of the issues can be grouped together naturally thus further changing their level of importance eg Security is also a Crime issue so further stressing how important the law & order topic is. Going back to pensions they are part of the economic management issue pushing that further up too.

Immigration and Europe are examples of important issues that concern many people but may proportionally have less influence on how most of those people actually vote. Possibly this has changed slightly but we need to be aware of it. Many times I came across this in 2005 and a typical response was "yeah we agree with Howard on immigration but that doesn't mean we are going to vote Conservative". Thankfully we seem to have learnt that lesson.

I have fought a few campaigns and I still think there is what I call the "big four" when it comes to how people vote. They are -Economy; Law & Order; NHS; Education. The challenge is to have a few clear ideas for each that coherently fit together so people recognise what we stand for and see that it represents the way forward.

The EU is not, it is true, of paramount importance to the electorate.

It should be.

Time for a quote from Powell about public apathy in the lead-up to "1992".

"I don't think the British react very effectively to an abstract threat. You can argue to them that this is the necessary, unavoidable consequence of what they are agreeing to. But they take that very sceptically, until in practical terms it comes home to them. If they are going to say - as some of them say in other contexts - 'Enoch was right' over this too, it will be because the sense of being bound by what they do not want to be bound by has come home to them in practice."

Awaken! Awaken!

Agree, Anon, EU should be more important but as you say people don't see it in quite the same way. This has been part of the game for EU proponents, knowing that the British only act when their backs are on the wall. Hence the crafty tactics of creeping implementation.

'Tory members are obsessed with Europe'? Actually, no.

"ConHome bloggers" Actually, yes

Interesting Comments


"Europe" is in most of the postings on here again today.Why can't we force ourselves to say "EU" or,"European Union",because that's what we are talking about,not Europe.

The main body of the Conservative Party Membership is still being led around by the nose by a handfull of pro EU fanatics,we need to take our Party back, and then, we can take our country back.

Brown has being facing a massive revolt on the EU for days. UKIP is in meltdown.

The Tory Party's biggest opportunity for years lies wide open and what are they doing about it?

Damn all, as far as I can see.

"what are they doing about it?"

They're turning a 69 majority for Labour into a 100+ one, that's what they're doing.

Instead of insulting everyone who disagrees with them, maybe the next leader will actually look outside the cchq bubble and see that many of us loathe Labour with a passion, and are desperate to see them replaced but are not prepared to support a pro-state funding, fundamentally-flawed econmics of offset 'green taxing' heir-to-blair Cameron Conservative Party.

As Mick Jagger might have sung about Cameron -
"well we used to love him, but it's all over now"

Dear R. Baker,

I am sorry that I didn't respond to your post before - but my nose is terribly sore from being led around by hordes of Wicked Europhiles! As a Party Member and activist of many years' standing I feel quite traumatized by it all!!!

Seriously though - and I find it hard to respond seriously to such a ridiculous comment - it only goes to prove that whereas most politically aware and sensible people are interested in issues which have a European aspect to them, the only people who are "obsessed with Europe" are in fact our Old Friends The Trolls! I rest my case.

the only people who are "obsessed with Europe" are in fact our Old Friends The Trolls! I rest my case

What case?

The power of the British people to govern our own nation continues to leak away to unelected, unaccountable international bodies and you think we should maintin a stiff upper lip and not rock the boat. Yes of course that's the Cameron line. Anybody else is a Troll.

That's why Hague, who had the courage to confront the EU menace, is worth 1000 Camerons.

Hopefully he'll be back soon.

Sally Roberts,you are exactly that which I refer to in my previous post here,namely,a pro EU fanatic.

We thank you for outing yourself so clearly.

The EU and those who support it in it's attacks on our country are long overdue for an awakening the likes of which this country has never seen for centuries.
As a previous Conservative of more than forty years you can take it from me that the Party Membership are being decieved by a greedy handfull of incumbents.

Time for change?You bet it is!

This does not actually prove what your headline says. The question was based on what we thought people in general would vote on at the election - not what we as activists actually think is objectively the most important.

I therefore put the NHS as important - as a political issue for me it is extremely UNimportant because there has rarely been any major difference between the parties on it and I don't think whoever is in power will make much difference. Europe (in the sense of the ever creeping powers of the EU, which is I think what one has to take that as) is on the other hand an extremely important issue to me, I believe one of huge objective importance to the country, and one where there is a material difference between the parties. But, based on the evidence, I cannot rank it as more important than the NHS to the average voter.

So all this survey shows is that we do not necessarily project our own feelings and opinions onto other people. I suppose that shows we are not totally self-obsessed but it doesn't actually tell you what we care most deeply about.

"Sally Roberts,you are exactly that which I refer to in my previous post here,namely,a pro EU fanatic.

We thank you for outing yourself so clearly."

Why thank you, Kind Sir!
I have been called many worse things in my time.

We believe you Sally,honestly.

Tim - not answering 'Europe' to the question you asked ('how will people in general vote') is not the same as asking what the most important issue is to Tory voters. I am confident that the Party has maintained its solid Eurohate.

We sang a hilarious song about what we'd like to Giscard d'Estaing at a constituency donner last month - and let me tell you - it wasn't pretty!

I ad-libbed a verse about David Davis punching the old man in the face which got a sound round of applause.

Matt Wright said: "I have fought a few campaigns and I still think there is what I call the "big four" when it comes to how people vote. They are -Economy; Law & Order; NHS; Education. "

I had trouble filling in this survey because of the way the questions were posed, but I go along with most of the posts here, in that the EU will be the dominating factor.

3 of your big four are, in reality, EU issues

Economy; The EU budget, unaudited for 12 years seems out of control to me - fraud increasing, spending on items that the british public would find from weird to unacceptable, if they had a say. The EU affects our economy greatly

Law & Order; I expect Europol, and the EU Court of Justice to flex their muscles more, and remember since those 1963 cases, the supremacy of Community law has been established.

NHS; I see that the Commission are taking the NHS to court for not spending the NHS budget in the way that the Commission think it ought. (Repayment of holiday medical costs). On what next will the Commission finger rest?

Education; Not so much an EU issue yet, but I see Germany beginning to make this an EU issue as it sees some contries Education system as being too lax in its mind. I predict that the Commission fingers will fall on Education soon just as they have on almost every other aspect of our lives.

It seems that the EU has control freaks at the helm who feel they have to show that they can assert their authority. If the EU isn't the greatest election issue this time, Conservative Party, you will have passed up a great opportunity.

Posted by: | August 30, 2007 at 22:24

I agree with Alfred the Ordinary about the adverse significance of the EU in the other major policy aspects.

If this poll causes the Tories to draw back from its recent inklings of EU-Scepticism then I would draw back from my inklings of voting Tory.

Felicity and I would just like to say that she doesn't do 'trolling' as the nursing home has forbidden this.

Some of the posts on this thread are from the sort of nutters that give anti Eu Conservatives like myself a bad name and allow the BBC to portray us 'swivel eyed fanatics'.
'I ad-libbed a verse about David Davis punching the old man in the face'-Davis Fan. I strongly suspect ,you're a mindless troll Davis Fan but it is a shame that your post can be left for several hours unchallenged.
The main body of the Conservative Party membership is still being led by the nose by a handful of pro EU fanatics.-RBaker.Really? Who are these people? Cameron? Hague? maybe David Davis? Pro EU fanatics all? You don't live in the real world do you ?

Ahhh,Malcolm defending everyone of the parties pro EU fanatics again eh?

Still,I suppose it makes a change from sucking up to the Ed and even the Deputy Ed,doesn't it?

You mention DC,do you trust him and expect him to deliver on all the things he has said to the party Members regarding the EPP and other promises?

I don't,he lied to them all,and everyone knows it.

Go on Malcolm,admit it,our Leader lied to the Members didn't he?

By the by,don't refer to yourself as being a Eurosceptic,you fooled nobody with that.


Byee.What a moron.

malcolm, ignore the creatures under the bridge, they'll get bored soon enough

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